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Friday, February 25, 2011

WI Assembly Passes Controversial Walker Budget Bill: Dems Erupt

All hell broke loose a little after one in the morning when Republicans cut off debate Governor Scott Walker's controversial WI budget bill after 61 hours of debate and passed it with a 51-17 vote.

JSOnline reports:

Democrats erupted after the vote, throwing papers and what appeared to be a drink in the air. They denounced the move to cut off debate, questioning for the second time in the night whether the proper procedure had been followed.

"Shame! Shame! Shame!" Democrats shouted in the faces of Republicans as the GOP lawmakers quietly filed off the floor and a police officer stood between opposing lawmakers.

"Cowards all! You're all cowards," yelled Rep. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) as another Democrat tried to calm him down.

Most Republicans had no comment on the vote afterward and some were escorted out under police protection. Earlier in the night, Majority Leader Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford) said that Democrats had been given more than two full days and nights to make their case - effectively turning the debate into a filibuster - and that Republicans had done nothing wrong.

"It seems clear our side wants to vote and I challenge anyone watching to say we have not held out for an adequate debate," Suder said.

“The democrats were clearly stalling,” said Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc). “That’s why Assembly rules allow for a vote on final passage. We took that vote and did what the people of this state asked us to do on Nov. 2 – get spending under control.”

H/T Gateway Pundit for the video of the chaotic scene after the vote.

Video below:

The Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity has issued the results of their polling of Wisconsin voters and found "71% of Wisconsinites believe that Governor Walker’s proposed budget changes that include unions to pay 5.8% of their salary toward the cost of their pensions plans and double their contributions for health care premiums to 12.6% are “fair”."

“This poll shows that a majority of the people in Wisconsin are standing behind aspects of Governor Walker’s budget reform proposal,” said Jason Stverak, President of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, a national nonprofit journalism organization which operates “Wisconsin Reporter has been on the ground floor of this story reporting from the Capitol since the budget battle began. This poll reiterates the opinions and comments that the reporting team at Wisconsin Reporter are hearing while capturing the breaking news from Madison.”

With that said, the same respondents are almost evenly divided on individual aspects of the controversial bill.

Hot Air's Ed Morrissey delves into other questions asked in that poll:

Forty-seven percent say they will support the recall of Fleebaggers, and more than two-thirds think Barack Obama should focus on his own budget issues rather than Wisconsin’s. The poll does not give any sample data, but Walker voters only had a single-point lead over those who voted for his opponent; Walker won by six points. That seems to indicate that Democrats were oversampled, but the overall outcome looks pretty good for Walker. He got more credit than “lawmakers in Washington” for tackling budget issues, 46/33. Looks like the Fleebaggers miscalculated.

Fleebaggers being the WI Senate Democrats that have left town to avoid voting on Walker's bill.

Despite a week of protesting it seems the Unions are losing or have lost the support of most Wisconsin residents and liberals and Obama have, indeed, backed the wrong horse in this race.